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Tony
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anybody here remember Nordic Raceway in Southall,Middx in th 60's. I have a lot of fond memories of the place, especially as I worked some weekends there. It was a strange setup the shop didn't look very big but went back a long way. It also operated as a dry cleaners and was run by Ron and Gill Nicholls, ably assisted by their massive daft Alsatian Max. They ran club nights and quite often open meetings over a weekend, I remember Max running of with someone's chicken at an open. The track was 8 lane and had a steep daytona like banking at one end and just in front of it of all things was a working fountain. It was funny all cars that went into the fountain seemed go better when pulled out. The shop made there own brand of bodies and equipment marketed under the Titan brand. It finally closed when Ron decided it was time to retire although I think they kept selling Titan bodies for a while. Ron did have a gorgeous metallic blue real Merc 190SL with gullwing dorrs, class even then. Ah the memories, I'd love to make contact with any of you who raced there.
Tony Davey (Bigtone)
 

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Hi Bigtone, Nordic at Southall rings a bell during 1965 to 1968 some of us from Hornchurch model car club entered a lot of open meetings and i am sure one of the venues was Nordic, as i remember going to Southall, i remember the banking and some sort of water feature which i thought strange as electric & water does not normally mix hence this stuck in my mind, did they run split meetings half the open on a Sat and the rest on the Sun as i seem to remember going there twice in one weekend during this period Barrie Wade, Ken Holmes, Stan Cartwright, John English, Mike Gamblin, my brother Ian and myself were the usual culprits at these types of meetings,as all my cars were painted in Eau Di Nil which was a colour close to the B.R.P F1 racing team colours hopefully you may remember me by the colour most people did in those days.
Interesting Keith.
 

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Hi Tony
I was only a youngster but spent a lot of time at Nordic's.
I used to race on the odd club night but a school friend called Zenon Krafft did used to do reasonably well at the open meetings.
Remember Max the dog well and also a frequent visitor who seemed to just hang around the place was Jack Wilde the "artful dodger" in Oliver!
Later, when I no longer raced, I had a job in the high street so used to pop in to Nordic's at lunch time to chat to Ron, most times he would be ranting about the goop he had to clean off the track which is quite amusing considering he didn't mind selling the stuff.
In the 80's when I retuned to slotracing at NLondon the club received a letter from Gill informing us that Ron had passed away, also there was a list of stock she wanted to sell which included loads of Cox slot kit's!
Many happy memories.
Cheers
[oneofwos]
 

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Hello Tony, I went there a few times in the 60s, but mainly just to try out the cars I had built as I had no track at home at the time.

John, I remember Jack Wilde being around, with a group of little girls looking in the window at him, but my memory has him at the Hounslow track.

I also went to the Kingston club for a while. Great times!

Regards, Lloyd.
 

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Tony
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Keith
I think I remember cars painted your colour, I always used to paint mine Parma Violet

Tony
 

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Fairly regular at Nordic, ran around there with Pete Farthing (although he didn't remember when I spoke to him recently). Had a rehearsal band with Jack Wilde I remember, in Whitton Scout hut. He turned up with a brand new Gibson SG & all the flash equipment. Rest of us had second hand, nicked or home made gear. I remember being given a try out for lead vocal on 'Sunshine of your Love'. Failed. Not sure if my voice had even broken then.

Ran my first straight sidewinder at a Nordic open, and (I think) got into the final for the only time. 1970??? Used to pick up a Titan body each time I went, pocket money permitting. Favourite was the Olds Toronado. Magic marker & hairspray paintjobs. Parma throttle with home-made heatsink, or an MRRC.

Used to do a regular round trip on our (push)bikes at weekends; Nordic, Hounslow, Chiswick model shop, Richmond Raceway and Vineyard. Sunday evenings on the tube up to Tottenham.

Funny how I can't remember what I did yesterday.....
 

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Raced at many a weekend open meeting there in the late 60's.
Ron ran a series of events each year which he called 'The British Open Championship'.
Used to travel up from South London with Ron Jones, Stan Alton, Trevor Crout, Keth Rose and a few others from the Sydenham/Beckenham/Coulsdon area.
Later with Fred James, Paul Amos and Paul West from the Tooting club.
Enjoyed the first track, the one described in the first post, but it did get very bumpy towards the end of it's life though.
Didn't like the second track at all. It had no cross over bridge so the outside lane was miles longer than the inside. You had no idea where you were in a race until Ron calculated how far you'd actually travelled in 3 minutes. Raced on that track once and never went back again.
There was always a great atmosphere at these meetings. Lots of banter and Fred James and Paul West putting on a non stop comedy show.

Tony, if you were south coast based at that time you may remember Roger Finlay and **** Langridge from the Littlehampton club.
Both of them raced at Nordic open meetings and **** is still racing at the Netley club.
Cheers.
****.
 

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Hi Tony

I have just bought some old 'Model Cars' mags on eBay to add to my collection.

October 1970 carries a report of an Open on 7th June at Nordic and according to the Tech Chart A Davey (that would be you I guess) won 1/32 sports and F1 and came 2nd in 1/32 saloon as well as 2nd in 1/24 F1.

I remember being taken there as wide eyed youngster in the early 70s and blew several weeks (months worth probably) pocket money on a Mura B can motor as well as several other bits and pieces.

Happy days!

Graham
 

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Tony
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi John I remeber those Titan Gold Star Motors, I painted nearly all the cans at weekends.
 

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Tony
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Graham
Yes Guilty as charged, I am the A Davey concerned, I usually did quite well in the opens. I have still got that issue, my trade mark was a floppy camoflage hat. I used to design the chassi's but they were built by a guy called Ollie Oliver, wonder what happened to him. I do remember that the same chassis was used for 1/32nd saloon and sports classes, just a different body. I should have done well, working there I got a lot of practice

Tony
 

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I did an awful lot of racing at and bought a lot of stuff from Nordic from about 1966 to 1969 when Ron started his British Open Championships in competition to ECRA. I lived in Harrow so it was not far to go to his monthly open meetings and I got my first slot racing "podium" (3rd) at one of them driving a saloon car consisting of a Revell chassis at full extension with probably a Rikochet Mk1 in it under a Pontiac Bonneville GT Models body. Tony Condon (Superhornets) and I have loads of tales about Ron Nicholls and Nordic.

We gave him , with affection, the additional initials T.S. making his full name R.T.S. Nicholls. You have to work out for yourself what the TS stood for.

We also used his Titan bodies and I used his Ford Mach II to win my first big open meeting at Oaklands in late 1968.

I guess Tony is at Le Mans this weekend otherwise he would have been regalling us with Nordic stories already. He does have the distinction of winning the first 1/24th class open meeting run in this country, at Nordic, so it was a leading player.

We did go to Nordic's very last race before Ron retired, an endurance race for 1/24th sports cars where the car to have was an open Dodge Daytona. It always was a mad place!
 

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Tony Condon
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hi john
not sure which tony you are asking the question of, but the motor guy and probably most of the other engineering that nordics did was done by wally pooley who was a jovial guy with glasses like the bottoms of milk bottles
Dick, I have been away this weekend (not to lemans ) so i,ll join this thread properly when i,ve got a bit more time ,as you well know got loads of amusing memories from those great days
Cheers tony
PS it was paul turner who lost his chicken leg to max the dog
 

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Tony
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Dick
Great to see your contribution, I do remember you at the open meetings. I'm sure I got my sports win at one of the opens with a Mach II as well, the other popular body was the Oldmobile Toronado. Never see either of the being used now. Ron was a tight so and so and I remember him giving us the dry cleaning fluid to clean the tapes with and the smell.
Tony
Looking forward to you future contributions, I worked with Walley Pooley quite a bt and he was a really nice guyand taught me a lot about slotcars. Yes Walle, and Ron did do the original rewinding for the Nordic motors but they became so popular it was farmed out to a small engineering company. Walley, Ron and I built up the motors when the armatures came back. I'm sure your right about the chicken but I thought it was a guy ( I think) called Brett Bonandine or Bonandie
Tony
 

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Tony Condon
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Hi Guys
nordic ,what can i say ,It was a big part of my early initiation into slotracing ,i was doing open meets and area meets in the mid 60s but Nordic was really something else ,a really big fast track that was big enough to race 1/24th
My memory of it was that it was 6 not 8 lane but i may be wrong
It had a steep banking followed by a long straight at the end of which was tight hairpin which was slightly banked
in the middle of the track were an enormous set of almost 360degree esses which covered most of the main straight and then a short straight connecting up to the steep banking .and yes there was a pond in the middle of the banking and cars certainly ended up in it amidst hissing steam and much hilarity
At the end of the main staright was a staircase which led up to ron and jills flat which was above the shop .
in the early days on club nights ron would race 1.32nd on 12 volts followed by 1/24th on 18 volts
As you can imagine brkimg for the corner at the end of the staight on the first 1.24 lap often ended with most of the field half way up the stairs and frantic activity from the marshalls
ron was a born salesman ,full of carp and a very handy line in malapropisms .in the mid 60s there was always lots of new kit coming in from the states and regular visits were necessary to keep up with the technology
When arco magnets first came in i remember a discussion with ron who told us " look at these new magnets ,Arkles but i cant see them catching on " but we bought them anyway
He also tried to sell me once a model of the famous clipper ship "the monopoly "(one for the model boat fans )
His vac formed bodies were mainly quite good ,however he used to sell them at 5 shillings (25p for you children of the 70s) but you could by seconds for 2/6d (12.5 p)
so a friend of mine went in there and didn.t like the shells on display and asked ron to go out and make him a second
I seem to remember no less a person than robin whitmarsh looking at the shells and asking which ones were the rejects
As dick said once the Brtitish open championship started our visits there grew less asi t was a direct challenge to ECRA which we supported but it was a great experiience for me as on a couple of occassions i was lucky enough to stand on the top step of the podium which made me realise I could beat some good quality slot racers .
I,ll see what else i can remember

Cheers tony
 

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My memory also has the first track as 6 lanes not 8.
The later track may have been 8 lanes but, as I said, I only ever raced on it once so I could be wrong.
I remember the voltage change between 1/32 and 1/24 scales as well.
Practice was always at the lower voltage and was only turned up at the start of the 1/24th heats.
You would get your 1/24th set up to be really good on the lower voltage but never know until your first heat what it would be like in the races.
There was a bump under the bridge which was always flat out with a 1/24 car at the lower voltage but might not be at the higher one.
I had a couple of 1/24th F1 cars that destroyed themselves at the end of the straight on the first lap of the first race by de-slotting on that bump.
They had been fine in practice.
If I remember correctly Nordic was the only place we ever raced 1/24th F1 with any regularity.
The class was rather spoiled by the side tank McLaren M7As. Ending up as sports car chassis under a 3 1/4 inch wide F1 body.

Tony, I don't think it was any kind of anti ECRA thing with Ron. The 1/32 classes were always to ECRA rules.
I think it was more about 1/24th racing and combating the arrival of Tottenham Raceway.
You should also bear in mind that most of us were never going to qualify for the ECRA Nationals anyway as at that time it was only two drivers per class from each area. I was based in South London then (area 9) so to get to the Nats I had to beat Gordon Tapsell, Trevor Crout, Stan Alton, John Snewin, John Veasey, Roger Willimot, Ray Skillen, Ian Skillen, Rick Coleman (that's just some of the South London boys) and there were many others right across Kent.
I did actually manage to qualify twice, but only in one class each time, so I never went. Both times the Finals were 'up north' somewhere and I couldn't see the point of the expense of a weekend away just to get 4 heats.
So you can see the attraction of 'The British Open Championship' for many of us especially as ECRA didn't do 1/24th scale racing.
It was easy traveling distance and we would always get 5 classes in a day with a good chance of a final or two.
Much better than Tottenham in that respect too.

Cheers.
****.
 

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You are all making me feel nostalgic (and old!) This is my first post on the forum. Just about to get back into slot racing again after about thirty eight years!
Used to race at Nordic along with brother Barry then we went to Tottenham and the rest is his history!
I had forgotten the story of Max pinching the chicken. Those were great days.
Does anybody remember the big american stock cars thundering round?
There was a polish? guy there that used to race there. Can't remember his name.

Sean
 

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Tony
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You are all right it was a 6 lane not 8, just my memory playing up. You would never been able to marshall a car on the banking if it was 8 lanes. I Believe thay the bump under the bridge did get flattened but the mayhem it caused on the first lap with nearly all the field coming off in 1/24th. It wasn't about Ron being against Ecra he just wanted more business and running 1/24th did that and the opens did the same. It was always a great atmosphere and every one seemed to get along.
Sean
I definitely remember the 1/24th Stock Cars, dirty great things, you could nerf someone 2 lanes away. I used to run a Tamiya Plymouth Fury, very rare now, 36D and rear suspension. I have a 1/24th full size Dodge Daytona which has a 5 inch wheelbase and a group 20 motor in it. Great fun to drive when I get the chance, don't know how it would cope with Nordic's banking though
 
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